Diabetes cases are on the rise in India – according to 2013 data from the International Diabetes Federation, approximately 50% of all people with diabetes live in just three countries – China (98.4 million), India (65.1 million) and the US (24.4 million).

There are several reasons why Indians have a higher propensity for this lifestyle disease — urbanization, unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity, coupled with inherent genetic attributes and differences in body composition. Which is why, if you have been diagnosed with higher-than-normal levels of blood glucose or A1C levels – a stage referred to as pre-diabetic as blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes — don’t take it lightly. It’s important you know how to control pre-diabetes with diet and exercise.

Research published in medical journal The Lancet found that pre-diabetic patients who had at least one normal blood sugar reading, even for a short period of time, were 56% more likely to avoid progressing to diabetes during nearly six years of follow-up after the study.

So this is your chance to take control. Some simple, daily lifestyle changes can dramatically cut the risk for developing diabetes over the next couple of years. For starters, you need to lose weight by choosing healthy foods, control your portion sizes, eat less fat and increase your physical activity.

Modify your diet

Adopting healthy eating habits can help people lose a modest amount of weight and reverse insulin resistance. These dietary changes should be introduced gradually, and must be habits the person can easily maintain, as opposed to extreme weight-loss solutions.

A dietitian or weight-loss programme like HealthifyMe can be a great support at a time like this to help with the planning and monitoring.

Maintain an exercise regimen

The latest evidence-based research on physical activity and Type 2 diabetes reported in a newly-released joint position statement by American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Diabetes Association unequivocally states that regular exercise plays a major role in preventing and controlling insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes mellitus and costly diabetes-related health complications.

Research shows pre-diabetics who were physically active for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, reduced their risk of Type 2 diabetes. So if you have been diagnosed pre-diabetic, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. For best results, do both aerobic activities, which use large muscle groups and increase heart rate, and muscle-strengthening activities. Aerobic activities can include brisk walking, climbing stairs, swimming, dancing; muscle-strengthening activities include lifting weights or body weight exercises.

People who aren’t physically active should talk to their health-care provider about what activities are best suited for them and get a check-up before starting an exercise programme. Increasing your unstructured physical activity (eg, standing, gardening, housework and walking) daily can also be a big help.

Regular physical activity tackles several risk factors at once. It can help you lose weight as well as control blood glucose and cholesterol levels as well as blood pressure.

Our experts can help build a diet & fitness plan that fits right into your lifestyle. Get in touch today.

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Written by Meenakshi S.

Meenakshi S.

“Fitness begins at home, the food we eat and daily core activities like sleep and mind, body and spirit relaxation,” says nutritionist and physiotherapist Meenakshi S. Along with a master’s degree in physiotherapy from Oxford College, Bangalore and MD in alternative medicines, Meenakshi is also a child birth educator, pre and post-natal fitness expert and ACSM health and fitness specialist. Attributing the root cause of most lifestyle diseases to today’s sedentary pace, she shares HealthifyMe’s vision that healthy habits must be incorporated into your existing lifestyle. “Do not think of diet and exercise as sacrifice, make it a habit and enjoy it instead,” she says, recommending small changes to ease the mind and body towards a more wholesome life. Being skinny isn’t a sign of being fit or healthy, says Meenakshi, of the opinion that it’s important to test other physical fitness parameters like muscle strength, endurance and body composition. She’s charged for change – are you?

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